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Lyr Add: Old Towler

Jim Dixon 11 Nov 19 - 10:43 PM
Ged Fox 08 Nov 19 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 08 Nov 19 - 10:48 AM
Ged Fox 06 Nov 19 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 06 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM
Ged Fox 06 Nov 19 - 05:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Towler
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 10:43 PM

Lyrics of OLD TOWLER, with musical notation for the melody line, appears in The Yorkshire Musical Miscellany (Halifax: E. Jacobs, 1800), page 10.

The text only is included in Act 1, Scene 4, of the play “The Czar Peter” by John O’Keefe. A notation on the title page of the play says: “Performed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden, in 1789. - The musick by Mr. Shield.” The entire play is included in “The Dramatic Works of John O’Keefe, Esq.” Vol. 3. (London: T Woodfall, 1798)--the song is on page 135.

The Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University has 2 editions of the sheet music for OLD TOWLER, both undated, both attributed to “Mr. Shield.”

One edition, published in Boston [USA], says: “Sung by Mr. Williamson at the Boston Theatre.”

The other edition, published in New York, says: “Sung by Mr. Tyler at the Newyork Theatre.”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Towler
From: Ged Fox
Date: 08 Nov 19 - 01:18 PM

"The Oxford Song Book," where I first met it, also says origin "Unknown." Some other sources attribute it to William Shield.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Towler
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 08 Nov 19 - 10:48 AM

Ged,
    I have the Daily Express Community Song Book with the words and music of "Old Towler", just as you have posted, issued in 1927 and described as an old hunting song. It is full of treasures. It is arranged by Robert Milford but no one is credited with composing. We do a version plus an extra verse without the chorus to a more sympathetic theme.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Towler
From: Ged Fox
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 07:05 PM

True, Mike, I missed some repeats from the chorus, and it does go much as your grandfather sang it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Towler
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM

This was one of the songs that my maternal grandfather would sing at our Christmas gatherings in rural Lancashire (late 1940's - 1950's). I have a rather poor quality recording of him singing it. The main difference with the text given above was his very lengthy (or so it seemed to me) chorus, which went:

With a hey tantivy,
Hard for'ard, hark for'ard, tantivy
With a hey tantivy
Hark for'ard, har for'ard, tantivy
Hard for'ard away, hark far'ard away
Hard for'ard away, hark far'ard away
Arise the burden of my soul
This day a stag must die
This day a stag must die
This day a stag must die

This would be sung after Christmas lunch when more than a few beers had been drunk by the adults and I seem to remember that the idea was to make as much noise as possible!


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Subject: Lyr Add: Old Towler
From: Ged Fox
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 05:39 AM

A fine hunting song of unknown(?) origin.

OLD TOWLER

Bright Chanticleer proclaims the dawn,
And spangles deck the thorn;
The lowing herds now quit the lawn,
The lark springs from the corn.
Dogs, huntsmen round the window throng,
Fleet Towler leads the cry,
Arise, the burden of their song -
“This day a stag must die.”

With a hey, ho, chivey!
Hark forward, hark forward, tantivy!
Hark forward, hark forward, hark forward, hark forward!
Hark! Hark! Hark! Tally ho! tally ho! tally ho
Arise the burden of our song,
“This day a stag must die.”


The cordial makes its merry round,
The laugh and joke prevail,
The huntsman blows a joyful sound,
The dogs snuff up the gale;
The upland winds they sweep along,
Through field and brake they fly;
The game is rous’d, too true the song -
“This day a stag must die.”

Chorus


Poor thing! The dogs thy haunches gore,
The tears run down thy face,
The huntsman's pleasure is no more,
His joys were in the chase;
Alike the sportsmen of the town,
The virgin game in view,
Are full content to run them down,
Then they in turn pursue.

Alternative third verse

Poor stag! The dogs thy haunches gore,
The tears run down thy face,
The huntsman's pleasure is no more,
His joys were in the chase;
Alike the generous sportsman burns,
To win the blooming fair,
But yet he honours each by turns,
They each become his care.


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